NATO chief seeks costs on China over Russia support

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the White House, Monday, June 17, 2024.

NATO's chief called Monday for China to face consequences if it keeps up support to Russia as he trumpeted a sharp increase in allies' defense spending since the invasion of Ukraine.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Kiev needed predictable and steady military funding as he hailed the uptick in NATO member defense budgets — addressing a key factor behind Donald Trump's skepticism about helping Ukraine.

NATO next month celebrates its 75th anniversary with a summit in Washington that aims to send a decisive long-term message of support for Ukraine ahead of President Joe Biden's reelection fight against Republican candidate Trump in November.

"The more credible our long-term support, the quicker Moscow will realize it cannot wait us out," Stoltenberg said on a visit to the U.S. capital to lay the groundwork.

"It may seem like a paradox, but the path to peace is more weapons for Ukraine," he said.

Stoltenberg accused China of worsening the conflict through what U.S. officials say is a major export push to rebuild Russia's defense industry.

President Xi Jinping "has tried to create the impression that he is taking a back seat in this conflict, to avoid sanctions and keep trade flowing," Stoltenberg said.

"But the reality is that China is fueling the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II, and at the same time, it wants to maintain good relations with the West," he said.

"Beijing cannot have it both ways. At some point — and unless China changes course — allies need to impose a cost. There should be consequences," Stoltenberg added.


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